‘Cartwheel’ by Hotline TNT is an album of pure fuzz, existing and then dissolving back again into obscurity.

To the untrained ear, this LP may sound little more than someone throwing all the instruments at a wall and expecting something to stick, when in actuality it’s a lot more nuanced than that. Each layer of noise, packed tightly to the next creates this sort of fuzzy, linty, shoegazey sound that rushes forward and recedes back just as quickly.

The second full-length release from the Hotline TNT, ‘Cartwheel’ is the manifestation of frontman Will Anderson’s idea of heartbreak. Combining shoegaze and hints of midwestern indie within the parameters of what makes a pop song is what Anderson is seemingly trying to achieve. And as bizarre as that sounds it’s certainly been achieved, the dizzying mix of distortion and dreamlike vocals and guitar lines is able to convey and amplify those emotions that so many of us are all too familiar with when experiencing heartbreak.

This album is the epitome of what DIY feels like. Just pure noise, raw emotion and figuring out what works and part of this can be traced back to Anderson being a veteran in the DIY music scene, being a member of Vancouver group Weed through most of his 20s. Yet, ‘Cartwheel’ is more mature than this, a reminiscent slow down that happens as you age. Signing to Jack White’s record label, Third Man Records, though initially sceptical of the move, Anderson mentions in an interview with Pitchfork that stability is becoming increasingly important for him. While his roots were what will keep him as an underground hero, ‘Cartwheel’ is looking to be a major breakthrough for Anderson.

A perfect depiction of true love is what we’re left with. If we were able to pin down all the noises and voices in our head into an album it would sound just like ‘Cartwheel’. Hotline TNT have created a cacophony that is so dissonant and raw while also being floaty and transient. If you’re looking for something that is melty and ethereal, with a harsh dissonance then look no further, Hotline TNT have mastered that sound, and in doing so have brought back shoegaze in one of its purest forms.

Hotline TNT: Cartwheel – Out 3rd November 2023 (Third Man Records)

TNT – I Thought You’d Change – YouTube


Megan Barton

Meg is a proud Mancunian and Music Journalist. She started out by writing press releases for bands in her free time, but now runs her own website Dyrti which she plans to expand in the near future. She loves Lester Bangs and Tony Wilson and has interviewed bands such as Cabbage, Oceans On Mars and Adult Cinema. You will more often than not find her somewhere in the Northern Quarter.